A college of Oxford University banned a student Christian group from appearing at a freshman fair out of fear it would lead to “alienating” students who practice other religions.
The Christian Union of Oxford’s Balliol College was initially banned by an event organizer who felt students might feel “unwelcome” due to what he calls the Christian religion being “an excuse for homophobia and neo-colonialism,” The Times of London reported (link here). –Fox News and Times of London
Why this story matters
First, this rationale for banning a religious group is bullshit on steroids. It’s not an argument. It’s the cry of a bully in the guise of a victim.
Second, the ban perfectly illustrates the intimate connection between “fear of offense” and the suppression of free speech and the voluntary assembly of free people.
- Knowing that any assertion of “I’m offended” can be used to suppress speech encourages a cult of offendedness, some real, some pretend.
Although England does not have a codified First Amendment right to free speech, it has a long–and once-proud–tradition of permitting free speech.
Now, the Social Justice Warriors, at once ferocious and too-delicate to be offended, are smashing it.
Finally, the story matters because far-left attitudes and actions in Europe soon find their copy-cats among American intellectuals and, from there, seep into the wider culture.
This attack on free speech and the right to assemble deserves hard pushback.
When the attack is against a religion, it deserves pushback from people of other faiths. It shouldn’t just be Catholics defending the rights of Catholics, Mormons defending the rights of Mormons, Jews defending the rights of Jews. These rights belong to all of us and should be defended by all of us.2